The College recognizes that it is the instructor’s prerogative to determine a grade. Responsibility for resolving grading disputes is shared among the instructor, the student, the department chair and the Advising Office.
If a student believes that he/she has been graded unfairly, the first step is to schedule a meeting with the instructor to discuss concerns. If, after talking with the instructor, the student continues to believe she/he has been graded unfairly, the student may file a written appeal with the department or program chair. The appeal must be lodged no later than four weeks into the semester following that in which the disputed grade was earned. The only grounds for appealing an instructor’s grade is a student’s belief that a grade has been assigned on a capricious or arbitrary basis. That means:
- The assignment of a grade to a particular student on some basis other than her/his performance in the course
- The assignment of a grade based on more exacting or demanding standards than were applied to other students in the course
- The assignment of a grade by a substantial departure from the instructor’s previously announced standards (for example, using criteria not specified in the syllabus).
After reading the written appeal, the department or program chair will consult with both the instructor and the student in reaching a recommendation on the appeal.
If the student is not satisfied with the departmental recommendation, she/he may submit a written appeal to the Dean of Academic Planning and Advising. The Dean may convene a committee of faculty to review the case and make a recommendation to the Dean.
Recommendations of a department chairperson, the Dean of Academic Planning and Advising and faculty committees are advisory only and are not binding on the instructor.
(Note: This is the policy as revised and approved by College Senate, Spring 2003)